Rebel Wisdom co-founder Alexander Beiner has his finger on the cultural pulse of our times. Here he explores key challenges we face as a global community: sensemaking and truth finding in a culture that has lost its coherence as well as its sense of the divine, and what role psychedelics might play both therapeutically and spiritually in healing our culture. He discusses the need to go beyond the intellectual to find clarity and coherence, using embodied practices like meditation and inquiry, and explains how modalities such as these are an essential container for therapeutic psychedelic experiences. What if deep, spiritual, psychotherapeutic group processes were to inform political decision making? Are commodification and economics going to subvert the benefits of the psychedelic renaissance? Let’s start asking, what do we want these substances to bring to the culture, and who has the authority to decide what psychedelics are used for? Ali brings keen insight and the wisdom of a dedicated contemplative to asking the important questions and offering up some answers as well. Recorded September 27, 2021.
Topics & Time Stamps – Part 2
- The developmental process involved with engaging with the contemplative world (01:30)
- The psychedelic renaissance and learning how best to use psychedelic substances as part of our spiritual practices (02:24)
- Legalizing MDMA (03:46)
- Bringing psychedelics into mainstream culture: the biomedical route (04:23)
- The need to consciously build a psychedelic metaculture and Ali’s Psychedelic Value Survey (05:52)
- Are economics going to subvert the benefits of the psychedelic reemergence? (07:59)
- We need to start asking, what do we want these substances to bring to the culture and who has the authority to decide what psychedelics are for? (10:59)
- Are churches embracing the use of psychedelics? (13:15)
- Religious, spiritual, and therapeutic uses (14:50)
- Karma yoga: the interface between the contemplative and the cultural, the spiritual and the political (16:25)
- The current meaning crisis, the lack of cultural coherence, and the need to commit to something higher (19:12)
- What’s missing culturally right now is a sense of divinity and the ability to surrender (20:34)
- The global coordination issue (24:14)
- The crucial motive of self-transcendence (Abraham Maslow), meta motives and meta pathologies (25:02)
- The crisis of sense making and understanding that making sense doesn’t happen only through thought, it’s an embodied process (29:09)
- Fostering complexity tolerance and resilience in not knowing (32:02)
- What gives Alexander hope? The idea that humanity is at its best under pressure (34:11)
Resources & References – Part 2
- Ram Dass, Be Here Now
- Rick Doblin, Multidisciplinary Association for Psychedelic Studies
- Santo Daime tradition
- Burning Man annual event in Black Rock City, Nevada
- Alexander Beiner/Rebel Wisdom film, The Rise of Psychedelic Capitalism
- Norman Spinrad, 1970s science fiction writer, The Last Hurrah of the Golden Horde*, review
- North Star Ethics Pledge, a first step in the demanding work of shaping the psychedelic industry around psychedelic wisdom
- Karma yoga, one of 4 classic spiritual paths in Hinduism
- Ranulph Fiennes, British explorer, writer, and poet, the world’s greatest living explorer according to the 1984 Guinness Book of World Records
- Ken Wilber, How Postmodernism Defies its Own Goals
- Daniel Schmachtenberger, founding member of The Consilience Project, which publishes novel research at the leading edges of global risk mitigation, governance design, and culture
- John Vervaeke, award-winning lecturer at the University of Toronto and creator of the cult hit YouTube series Awakening from the Meaning Crisis
- Maslow’s forgotten pinnacle: Self-transcendence
- Naryan Wong, founder of ThinkBetter, a training organization that helps people apply evidence-based approaches to their development, and an active member of the Rationalist community
- Developing Complexity Tolerance with David Treleaven on Rebel Wisdom
- Terence McKenna, ethnobotanist, author, and advocate of using psychedelic plants, Chaos, Creativity, and Cosmic Consciousness* with Rupert Sheldrake & Ralph Abraham
- Doshin Roshi, founder and abbot of Integral Zen
- Rebel Wisdom podcast website
- Rebel Wisdom’s Sensemaking 101 (8-week process begins June 18th)
- Alexander Beiner on Medium.com
- Alexander Beiner on Substack.com
* As an Amazon Associate, Deep Transformation earns from qualifying purchases.
Alexander Beiner is a writer, facilitator, cultural commentator, and co-founder of the popular podcast and retreats organization Rebel Wisdom. Alexander regularly discusses psychedelics and interviews key figures in the psychedelic community on Rebel Wisdom, and is currently exploring the role psychedelics can play in an increasingly polarized culture. His articles appear frequently in Medium.com (and now Substack). He is one of the directors of Breaking Convention, Europe’s largest conference on psychedelic science and culture, and his work on psychedelic culture has been published in the 2016 book Neurotransmissions, as well as in The Guardian. In 2012, he co-founded a meditation school, Open Meditation. Alexander also writes fiction and plays traditional Irish music.
Podcast produced by Vanessa Santos and Show Notes by Heidi Mitchell
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